In the 1980s, a land line phone in the shape of the cartoon cat Garfield were quite popular, but they faded from sight, as even land lines are disappearing now. But plastic has a long life. French beachcombers on the the Iroise coast in Brittany have been picking up parts of Garfield telephones for 35 years, and anti-litter campaigners know that Garfield phones are going to be part of the area's clean-up efforts. No one knows where they came from, but they keep washing up on the beach even after all these years. The anti-litter group Ar Vilantsou decided to use a Garfield phone as the face of their media campaign this year. That decision led to the source of the phones.
The media attention on the new campaign, however, drew the eye of a local farmer who remembered the first téléphone Garfield appearing after a storm in the early 1980s, when he was a young man.
He also knew the location of the container - in a secluded sea cave accessible only at low tide.
"You had to really know the area well," he told Franceinfo, which had covered the campaign. "We found a container aground in a fissure. It was open. Many of the things were gone, but there was a stock of phones," he recalled.
The farmer led some Ar Viltansou members and journalists to the secluded cave, where the shipping container remained, as well as a cache of Garfield phones. They had been gradually washing out from the cave for decades. Read the story of the Garfield phones at BBC News. -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Claire Simonin/Ar Viltansou)